Location: United States
Kelly Alison is and American artist primarily working in a rural area south of Houston, Texas. Her work has been exhibited in National and International Museums, most notably at the Shanghai Art Museum in China and the National Museum of Art in Lima, Peru and the Museum of Fine Art in Houston, TX. She has been published in books, catalogs and magazines such as Art in America, Texas Monthly and Town and Country and her work is on permanent exhibition in downtown Houston as part of the Wayfinder project . Alison’s work can be seen in many private and public collections.
Alison was born 1957 and raised in the panhandle town of Plainview, Texas. She studied painting at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas, under David Rindlisbaucher and philosophy at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. In the late 70?s, early 80?s at The University of Houston she was one of the students involved with the original Lawndale Art Annex, ( Houston’s first alternative space ) where she studied under Richard Stout, Gail Stack, John Alexander, and James Surls. As a student she had the opportunity to participate in a number of professional exhibits at, and organized by, Lawndale.
In 1985, Alison was recognized as the youngest artist in “Fresh Paint: The Houston School”, curated by the highly regarded Barbara Rose and writer, co-curator, Susie Kalil. The prestigious exhibition opened at the Fine Arts Museum in Houston, then traveled to New York to the alternative space, PS1. Two works were shown “Barking Bitches” and “Sunday”. Her figurative work, then influenced by the German Expressionist movement, exhibited an unashamed passion and directness; buildings, streetwalkers, barbed wire, cruise missiles and barking dogs filled the large canvases.
Two Art in Public Places projects were awarded to Alison, the Lee High School Mural Project, sponsored by Lawndale and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and 1st Place in the Wayfinder Project, sponsored by the Downtown Association and the Cultural Arts Council of Houston. Both remain on permanent exhibit in Houston. Alison was also the first Director of the Winter Street Art Studios during its memorable Grand Opening.
During the 1990?s , Alison dropped out of the “business of art” and became involved in the social sculptures of two of Houston’s most interesting artists, Nestor Topchy and Jim Pirtle . She also worked with the “Rubber Art Mob” Wayne Gilbert, Bill Hailey and Ramzy Telly. At the same time she was exploring the international and invisible world of collective identities and multiple name performers. A neo anti-neoist, Alison interacted with The Invisible College, Luther Blissett and Monty Cantsin and she played and performed in a number of offbeat venues under the names l.knomore or Ima Knomore , Helena in the dadaNetCircus production of www. Faust, Discordia in Jonah and the www.Whale , and Y2K with Richie Hubscher and the Easy Credit Theater.
In 2005, Alison returned to exhibiting her work with the solo Exhibition ” Return from Graceland” at 101 Gallery. She exhibited “What’s A Mother to Do” in the Corpus Christi Art Museum show, ” Art Caliente’ , The Joe Diaz Collection” and in July and August of 2006 , Alison traveled to China as part of the prestigious exhibition, curated by Christopher Zhu and Gus Kopriva at the Shanghai Art Museum, “Houston Contemporary”. In 2007, she traveled to Peru as part of the exhibition “Amistad” at the Museo de Nationale.
Alison’s family has been the joy of her life, having lived out in the swampland south of Houston with her husband Preston and her two kids Jacob and Madeline ( now in college ) since 1983 . They built their home themselves, spend lots of time in the garden, grow sugar cane and cook most meals over an open pit. Her new work is focused around the actual experience of art itself, as with performance art, there are elements and ideas but they consciously rely on a connection with the subtle energy that creates them.
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